The Taoist Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing: The Barefoot Doctor at TEDxHackney

The Taoist Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing: The Barefoot Doctor at TEDxHackney



I just thinking about you're thinking he's a fraud he's wearing shoes and probably I am a fraud just like we all are I think we all have that fear of being a fraud only am i real because we're not I think really I mean as far as you're concerned what I am is a set of signals firing or from your neurons creating a description of a man standing in front of you actually from my point of view sighs the same thing I mean my experience of me is just a set of signals firing off from my neurons however in this game of life that we are playing because it is theater really we construct reality through a filter of perception and I don't rehearse these speeches by the way this is just coming right off the top of my head I the bevor doctor is a metaphor for a humble healer and they were mostly women in fact in ancient China who were like medicine women they were powerful they have magic they knew how to do acupuncture how to dispense herbs they teach Qigong energy exercises they do magic spells for people to become pregnant or to protect them from evil and all sorts of stuff and they were doing it from a cooler sense of cooling a motivation to be of service to their fellows with humanity rather than from a sense of self aggrandizement it was about serving they based their philosophy on all their way on what's called Taoism which is an ancient Chinese originated system of life it's not a religion what it actually is is a cosmology which is very akin to modern quantum physics is the the sensor there is a a prime cause which they called au spell ta Oh and this word is not sacred it's not something you have to Revere you could insult it if you want nothing would happen to you it wouldn't punish you it's not a person that it's not anthropomorphize it's just the prime cause and none of us has the mental capacity to explain or or define it this prime cause exists forever it's never born it never dies it just is and we could say that it's comprised of consciousness in motion like primordial consciousness in motion this phenomenon the primordial consciousness in motion is they call Qi or psychoactive energy when this as this this pretty called it a presence I experienced as a presence behind all manifest phenomena when this presence decides to so to speak kind of morph into form the universe is born and once that happens you have a polarity you have the prime cause and you have the manifest universe and whenever you have a polarity they say arises yin and yang now the yin is like the contractive tendency in all phenomena and the yang is the expansive tendency and these two dance around each other in a cyclic motion so that you will and it affects every stratum of existence so that you'll have a phase during each hour where you feel our life is good I'm feeling really great I can do it and then when oh maybe I'm mad maybe I can't maybe you know you you're dipping and rising constantly through through the day through your life and and events do that as well events get really difficult and then they get easy and then they get difficult and then it's usually wet with us always when things reach their zenith it's when they're going to tip into the opposite so if you look at economic cycles for example the one that we've just come out of probably the biggest at least most spectacular economic boom in at least recorded history over the last many decades three four decades now it reached its zenith and it's now we we've entered into probably what will be the biggest economic slump in recorded history and all the ramifications of that um it's cyclical there are big cycles and little cycles and all of this is operated by yin and yang you have your soft side you have your hard side you have your generous side you have your means side you have your altruistic caring side you have your ruthless side neither is good or bad they just are you can't have one without the other so you can't have all brightness because there has to be shade and so if somebody's glowing with brightness and utterly beautiful to look at and looking absolutely perfect and manicured and presents themselves perfectly you can be sure they're behind that is the opposite as well and so for every truth there is the opposite nothing is fixed everything is relative once you're out in the world of manifestation anyway so much for that where that cosmology gave rise to a philosophy and set of principles basically that you have a true nature you have true nature in the are is to come back into your true nature if you do that things will work out beautifully for you you'll go through the ups and the downs the yin and the yang cycle but you won't be affected by it because you're not personally involved in it so to speak you're like the the background presence inside observing yourself going through the theater of life and if you can learn to come into your true nature your life will be magical and powerful and beautiful they call this wu-wei which means the path of least resistance the path of manifesting what you need just by intending it rather than contriving it or struggling or striving or pushing other people out of the way to get it they I mean I could go on this isn't the the vet the the arenas to do that in I've got to go into the great depths of the Taoist philosophy because it is faster now I highly recommend a little bit of research into it but the from these principles from this abyss filosophy came a set of psychophysical methods or techniques by which to embody the principles of the philosophy so that you actually move with it in in your daily life physically so to speak psycho physically you you actually embody the principles so the yin and the yang for example I'm aware that if I've got my weight on the right side my left side is empty so I've got my yang full strong side and my left empty soft side and I'm constantly aware of the switch I have my soft side in the front my house side in the back I have the the yang heat rising kind of a noisy bit of me at the top where my mouth is you know mostly is that's the noisy bit and and then the lower part is is the quiet Yin soft side well anyway these methods are known most famously as Tai Chi that's a very famous Taoist method it's a slow-moving martial art but it's not really slow moving you you practice it so low slow moving to appreciate the the movement of energy within it's actually a boxing form when you use it it's boxing so it's not on slow motion and as the other kites going slow motion too in fact even then you probably want to go fast acupuncture is a famous modality of Taoism this doesn't mean that everybody that practices acupuncture knows about Taoism most of them don't but it came from the Taoist system Feng Shui the art of moving your furniture around and placing your buildings and so on and so forth that is a Taoist art I could go on and I could go on it addresses itself to all kinds of areas of life and this is what I've been I'm 58 and three-quarters I've been doing this thus inside whether the Taoist think since I was 19 prior to that at the age of the than I was I started doing Aikido which is the japanese version of tai chi i is thai ki is Chi and o is now so it's the same it's just a more simplified version of the Tai Chi and I was very fortunate to study with an elderly Japanese master who had come to London as a healer had a practice in Harley Street and I was obliged to learn how to heal people and I'd always been fascinated riveted by the human conditions that even as a tiny kid I was so much more interested in what was going on inside and inside everybody and how we all interacted then I was by football or television or or any of the distractions the actual human condition is what I found riveting and still doing always have done not to the exclusion of enjoying the entertainment of course but just that the nub of it all surely it's the human condition that's the most interesting aspect and I was fascinated by the disparity between the words that were being spoken by people and the actuality in other words the the differential of you know the lies and what was so what I could see was so and what was being said was so um I came religious jump a bit I'm 14 years old it was 1968 swinging London I grew up in London and a party in a in a penthouse everyone taking LSD and a guy is standing on the roof about to fly so if somebody gets hold of me he could come on the roof he's going to jump this guy this because in those days LSD P there was a fashion to fly if you were on LSD the things going fashions they really do these days people take LSD I don't think anyone would think of flying off of a roof because we learn you know I suppose yeah I hope we do and it was really interesting we were interesting it was really quite horrible actually he was styling and it was night time it was quite cloudy November night the orange streetlight blowing in the sky bit windy like and he's standing there swaying on the the roof and people are sort of a bit around but no one's going to close somebody's trying to talk to him he's not listening is completely off his trolley and I go up about three feet behind him and I do this thing I had been taught with you you magnetized someone with your hand you connect with the energy you just pull him if I don't who struggle it'll be on top of me so I'll stop but he did actually come back and got off the ledge and came down I kept pulling him towards me benignly not in a weird way just but no because it was the only thing to do I was amazed it worked it was a few Wow I mean I had to be honest I was tripping as well so it was very very powerful and he came towards me and I knew from my kind of altered state which had opened up my filters of perception so I could see the energy really clearly and what's going in my mind go wow wow it's really true there is his energy sure it's not just some sort of oriental myth you know I could actually really really see it as lie I could see there was a big black hole around his kidneys you could see that he was like deficit of energy of life and I just I came up to and I put my hands on his back now in 1968 people didn't touch each other that much and this it was you know shaking hands kissing or it was a sexual thing but guys especially would not put their hands on each other they still don't that easily these days but so it was an odd thing to do but in the altered state environment was totally cool I put my hands on her put my hands on his kidneys and it was like a furnace coming out of my palm I'm it's not I'm not saying I'm clever to have done that it wasn't now I was really just purely a vessel because I wasn't even really there and and you could feel him heating up in the kidneys and as it was happening he and me starts coming into this state of real clarity I mean absolute clarity and focus and then we started talking and I actually realized that it aside from all the history of flying off roofs on LSD and all that because you know as a fashion there was must be pain there because otherwise why is he jumping off a roof it wasn't just cuz he thought he was an angel he could fly there's something underneath there's pain there and we started talking and he started telling me his story and there was a lot of pain there and then you know like big surprise I still get surprised in fact everybody's got a lot of pain going on inside that's what you learn it's like I did this conference for boots it was actually their head office I used to sell I created this perfume it's kind of healing sexy perfume smell and I created a range out of it it wasn't from a consumerist materialistic kind of thing I just like having a laugh really and it was a laugh it was a bit of conceptual art but I could get messages out in a place like this how funny would that be and and it was funny and then they invited me to a conference and I addressed 400 people who were sort of your age you know young happening good-looking bright vibrant people all looking very smart and really cool and really successful and I'm thinking wow what a successful looking you know happening bunch of people really nice to see that I give them the tool is bigger arch everyone's laughing I get off the stage and this spontaneous line forms at the side of the stage and one by one people start coming up and telling me their stories asking for a bit of advice and I was actually almost crying by the end of it because some of these stories you think wow I don't know how you walk around with that suffering going on and yet there you are looking so great you know slowly but surely it's dawning on me that everyone's got a lot of pain going on inside and so my my the motivation is to alleviate that pain wherever I can but I think that first before alleviation has to come acknowledgement like people had to feel like hey about acknowledging that they had pain at all in the 50s when I was a kid people were so removed from their inner worlds they didn't even have one anymore it was all front it was all hello 9 5 8 7 2 5 3 onto everyone had their telephone voice everybody were acting we would be you know they they had no in a world so people used to have nervous breakdowns that was the fashion then nobody really knew what they were they were just called nervous breakdowns you get rushed off to a hospital an ambulance come back a few weeks later looking a bit dizzy and then life would carry on that the this urge to somehow alleviate human suffering and to get people to expose their pain it's almost like being rude it's like saying hey you got painting and I haven't you just say I've got pain but what's happened is as a result of partly my work and lots of other people over the last 30 years or so people feel more free about talking about what's going on with them so they're not pretending they don't have pain that's the first step my feeling is that if we could kind of discern these principles that are that I dedicate my life to studying and we can somehow educate everybody to have these principles embodied within them the levels of suffering and pain globally collectively would reduce a little bit and as that happens then we have a chance to carry on this incredible magnificent experiment of humanity if we don't and we allow the pain to stay buried into drivers and cyclists to act out destructively and psychotically as is quite often the case these days and increasingly so jeez have only got one minute and full ah I need three goes of this anyway look I'm going to do it really quickly and lay it on you because this is it you you have your front which is involved in the drama of everything all the tension the thoughts that are that's you who you think you are but who you really are your true nature is in the back if you sit back inside now you lean up against your shoulder blades your hip bones the front of your spine and you are then in command of what's going on in the front and you feel that you let your mind go to the back of your head we've got 31 30 seconds there your mind going into the back of your head so that the front is really quiet you're sitting in your back so you can feel the tension in your belly you can breathe and let it go and now you're in command that's the trick if you can do that mental health will be yours forever bless you thank you you

46 thoughts on “The Taoist Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing: The Barefoot Doctor at TEDxHackney”

  1. Governments / Oligarchs + the families behind the vatican are responsible for all dystopia in this world. Thanks Steve

  2. I met the Doc back in the 90's. He is consistent and always honest… good to see him here, first time I had realised he had done a Ted talk… must have some taoist synchronistic relevance right now. Handbook for the Urban Warrior is good but my fave is Handbook for Heroes… and personal plug… I get a shout in the Handbook for Lovers. Cheers Doc.
    Mark This.

  3. Go to Chinese Tample / Tridharma.
    Pray for ask bless to Thian Ie Wang Ta Tie/ Yu Huang Da Di ( The one LORD / Yehua ). And Make meditation with Budha Mahayana methode.
    Feel the energy , and more.
    It will make more deep understanding real taoism.
    Try it at list once in your live time , if you can't come oftenly

  4. i think Yin and Yang can be refer to matter and anti-matter, and each matter or anti-matter also contain matter and anti-matter.

  5. I used to be a pious Christian. Now I am an agnostic Christians. there are a lot of good teachings from Buddism, Taoism, Islam, Christianity. I believe in the universe which manifest itself in all different religions and beliefs.

  6. Who are we? The people that search for spiritual truth, through science and different religions and philosophies?

  7. Beautiful paradox: Yin Yang tells us we cannot be fully enlightened!
    By accepting and loving that, we become enlightened ❤️

  8. Or my PC is bad, or my ears, the sound of this, but I cannot hear what he,s talking. So pitty. I,ve to go to another docu about TAO…. I do want to know about IT.

  9. I have for years called this the duality of life, as for every action there is an equal reaction. Heat-cold, right-left. Etc.

  10. Im glad he talked about the powers and problems of Psychedelics..
    Sometimes in an induced state of mind.. depending on the dose and the nature of the medication.. the body effects hinder the intellectual enhancements. One wants to think and experience from the deepest level of cognition in ones present awareness of Mind, but the feelings one feels have their own electrical charge that are somewhat inhibitory if one does not know already how to move that energy back to the executive center.. I believe the implications one can gather from this insight is that: one MUST engage in some kinesthesiological exercise that is holistic in practice, whether aerobic or anaerobic.. that commands control over the peripheral and primary pathway of nerves that flow from the brain.. so as to achieve "balance" between the poles of ones being..

  11. So basically, don't be the swimmer separately swimming in the river, be the water flowing in the river

  12. I dig the message…I really do…BUT he said in the beginning "I don't write or prepare my speeches" fast forward 15 minutes later "O sh*t I only got 30 seconds left." LMFAOO !!!!

  13. Interesting. Although, I'd prefer his talk was more structured. The main point of the talk was rushed, just because he didn't check the timing. But thanks for sharing knowledge.

  14. Thought provoking and entertaining. The Barefoot Doctor is clearly and intelligent and enlightened man.
    Just a shame his main points were crammed into the last minute of his talk.

  15. Let me try to explain.
    See my being is being contained.
    So what you seeing isn’t me, it's just something my being is in.
    See I’m really the soul that my body keeps in.
    The energy that you only feel when I’m speakin.’
    My physical features are just features.
    My mouth is no different than speakers.
    My eyes are like cameras.
    Ears are like microphones, and it gets deeper.
    See what if when you die you really waking up?
    And what you thought was your life is a dream
    And you made it up?
    I think about the power of the human brain.
    Mother Nature made birds and we made planes.
    Fish have gills, we made scuba gear.
    The future’s near, just think about what we doing here.
    What’s the definition of a god?
    Creator, omnipotent power that sees all?
    We capable of all three, I mean really though.
    With one click of a button I could see any one.
    With one click of a button I could learn anything.
    If knowledge is power than why ain’t I already king?
    I dedicate this to the smart folks.
    And loved ones that aren’t with us.

    Light food

  16. Evidence = that you breath at night …or do you want evidence you do not breath at night …neither which you understand? Evidence ….What about ALL the INVISIBLE FORCES that make all this atomic level stuff go round and round …  Evidence is a form of stupidity …use it wisely …

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